Instilling healthy habits in your young child is one of the most important tasks you’ll have as a parent. This can be especially daunting when you consider that junk food, the overuse of technology, and a sedentary lifestyle are the staples of the early 21st century. Is there a way for you to keep your kids away from sugar-packed snacks, encourage them to move, and reduce their screen time? Although it’s hard, it’s not impossible, especially if you lead by example.
Introduce your kids to some wholesome practices right now because the things they learn during the first years of life may have an overarching impact on them later on. It’s better to start them early because breaking bad habits once they’ve formed can be twice as hard.
Read on to learn what you can do to sow the seeds for a healthy lifestyle.
Encourage them to be physically active
According to Uptown Jungle Murrieta, the stimulating setting of a kids’ indoor playground helps little ones acquire physical skills and try out new things freely and confidently.
Exercise is crucial during childhood. Some of its perks include maintaining a healthy weight, practising motor skills, and gaining confidence.
To keep your kids moving at home, assign them to some simple, age-appropriate chores. This shouldn’t feel like punishment – instead, do housework together, play some upbeat music they like, and turn it into family fun.
Instead of lounging in front of the TV in your spare time, take your kids out as often as you can and walk, jog, or hike with them. Teach them how to rollerblade, swim, and ride a bike. If you yourself take pleasure in these activities, the chances are your kids will too.
Another thing to try is signing them up for sports or taking them to a kids’ gym. There, children exercise in a safe, controlled environment, under the watchful eye of a coach or trained instructor.
Promote the love of nutritious food
Serve your kids nutritious meals from the start to shape their taste. If fruit, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods form the biggest part of their diet from the get-go, this is what they’ll be used to. It’s only after they’ve already grown accustomed to refined sugar that you’ll have a hard time weaning them off it.
Don’t force them to eat the foods they don’t like though – expose them to as many different flavors as possible, always provide them with several healthy options, and let them choose what they enjoy. If you aren’t sure what a child’s balanced diet should consist of, you can use online resources to find out.
Allow a yummy treat like some chocolate or a piece of cake from time to time and don’t make a fuss out of it – these foods can all be a part of a balanced diet when eaten in moderation. However, don’t use them as a reward because this can promote an unhealthy relationship with food.
Teach them the importance of proper hygiene
Establishing a consistent bathtime routine and making it enjoyable for the child is one of the cornerstones of their future relationship with hygiene.
You’ll most likely be helping them bathe and brush their teeth until they’re seven or eight (because kids don’t have the necessary motor skills to do it on their own earlier than that). However, you can start teaching them at a much younger age. For example, you can ask your toddler to hand you the toothpaste or the soap and make them feel like they’re chipping in with their small contributions.
Explain how to wash their hands and practice it with them. Consistently remind them not to touch their face and mouth with dirty hands. Talk to them about the importance of keeping clean as often as you can and good habits will eventually become second nature.